WHEN I WAS a young man — in my twenties, let’s say — I figured my generation would change the world.
I hope every generation feels like that.
Had you asked me what would be different in the 21st century, what current practices would be be changed when the boomer generation took over, I would have predicted things like this:
- We would have stopped the deforestation of the rain forest and have adopted a sensible global policy for the protection of the planet, it’s water sources, and its air.
- Paper money would have disappeared. Electronic transactions would stop counterfeiting and laundering.
- We would have gone to a fair flat tax system and the IRS would be a distant memory (boy, was I wrong about that).
- We would have returned to organic farming methods, having seen the damage done to both land and people by inorganic methods.
- Both medicine and food production would have become focused on health, not on profit. Some things ought not be commercial.
- The USA would be a world leader in the propagation of freedom and justice for all. Other countries would see us as a model of generosity, kindness, and wisdom.
- Automobiles and homes would be powered by the sun, not by fossil fuels. There would be no energy crisis.
Going back over that list, it doesn’t appear I should be hiring out as a predictor of politics, society, finance (or probably anything else). Moreover, I can’t promise any of that would be THE solution … all I’m saying is that’s what I thought, that’s what I foresaw.
I do know love trumps hate and we ought to take care of the planet, not trash it to milk every dollar we can out of our mother.
So, what’s the point?
Here’s the rub, the thing that’s got me thinking about all of this: I’ve never really spoken out in favor of forests or fair and equitable taxes or the family farm. I don’t want to be called a tree hugger or get ostracized by my conservative friends.
I keep my hair trimmed, my beard trimmed, I wear a tie to work, and I never talk about politics.
Well, at least I used to do those things.
(I can’t say I don’t talk about religion, but hey, that’s my avocation. I’m a freelance philosopher and pilgrim on the way.)
I’ve been silent about matters that will affect my children and grandchildren and their children. I’ve gone along with the crazy technology that would turn the world into a garbage dump for plastic jugs, strip the mountains of timber (the plains are long since cut bald), and turn God’s good and fertile soil into sterile and fruitless dust.
And now I’m ashamed of my reticence and my fear of offending the status quo.
The Good News
The really good news is the Gospel. If you’ve never heard that, pick up a Bible and turn to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 1-8. Or go to any Catholic mass and listen as the Creed is pronounced.
But that’s not the good news I’m talking about.
The good news about Don Sturgill is that he is still alive and still has opportunity to speak out. Does that mean I can “save the world”?
Does that mean anyone at all will listen?
But it does mean that I will not (Lord willing) go to my grave knowing the ship was sinking and I didn’t at least shout a warning to my fellows and grab a bailing bucket.
And, by the way, I hope to see you on the journey 🙂
Maybe we can’t save the world. Maybe there will a global battle over who gets to fell the last tree and poison the final spring … but we have to try. We must.
Our children depend on us.